Slater’s Dance Studio Celebrates Final Weeks at Mayo Road Studio

On Saturday, Mary Slater of Slater’s Dance Studio would like all of her current and former students to come say farewell to the space her dance studio has occupied for the past 22 years at 171-A Mayo Road in Edgewater. Slater is hosting a reception from noon to 2:30 p.m. before she decamps for a yet-to-be-determined location.

Mary Slater is saying goodbye to her Mayo Road studio but not to her students.

Mary Slater is saying goodbye to her Mayo Road studio but not to her students.

Slater said that she knows that the change in address is short notice, especially for her former students who may be off at college, but she didn’t really have much of a say in the matter. She was given written notice in late December that she had to be out by Feb. 1 after the building was sold to a new owner.

Slater is looking for a temporary space to host her dance classes before finding a permanent commercial space to call home.

Slater currently has 132 families spread over 22 classes per week.

“I’ve been pretty steady over the years. This year is a very good year,” she said.

She’s got three companies: Starstruck is the oldest group, Footnote is the middle company and Shining Stars are the youngest, starting at 7 years old.

“Our classes will not stop. We’ll be meeting at other places,” Slater said.

She started her dance studio after returning home from New York City in 1989 to help her mother, who was recovering from surgery.

At first, she taught at Maryland Hall and then taught at other venues around the Washington Metropolitan area.

“I taught at the University of Maryland, College Park, I was teaching tap dancing. I also taught classes in Rockville at the Jewish Community Center and other places,” she said.

Then Pam Newton, who ran South River Dance, approached Slater to take over her business. Fast forward a couple of decades and Slater is still going strong.

Before returning to Edgewater, Slater was living in New York City, she was working for a computer company by day and performing and taking dance classes with famed tap dance instructor Henry Le Tang.

“It was during the time when tap dancing became really popular,” she said. “Le Tang taught for 40 years, he taught Gregory and Maurice Hines.”

She makes it back to New York City each year with her dance students at Thanksgiving.

Slater has been busy packing up. After two decades, she has plenty of memories.

“Some of it is hard. Thinking of my mom. She used to sit in that corner over there and encourage the students,” she said on Tuesday.

Slater’s mom, also named Mary, passed away in 2010, but was a mainstay at the studio into her 90s.

“It was great that I could take care of her and do this too,” Slater said.

Once the studio closes, she’ll move things into storage until the new space is ready. She’ll be able to take the floor and the mirrors and use them again in the new space. Classes will continue at a temporary location until the permanent space is ready.

“I want to stress that we will still have classes during the transition,” Slater said.

Slater said that she’ll update her website with information on her new location when it is solidified.

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About Mitchelle Stephenson

I've gotta tell Mitchelle! Send your South County news tips, brag on your fab volunteers, talk traffic, police and fire or just say "howdy" to Mitchelle Stephenson, co-founding editor of the South River Source. Mitchelle@SouthRiverSource.com or reach me in person on mobile: 410-353-4706.

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